During their Tuesday meeting, Manhattan City Commissioners discussed a possible transfer of special alcohol funds to the Riley County Police Department to help cover the cost of mental health co-responders currently under contract from Pawnee Mental Health Services.

When first proposed, the transfer of these funds intended to help lower property tax transfers to RCPD for the co-responder program.

Commissioner Wynn Butler noted the commission has managed to shift funding around in the past to lower property taxes, and he felt this proposal is very similar.

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Mayor Mark Hatesohl, who had expressed previous interest in the proposal, said he was now starting to have some doubts.


City Commissioner Linda Morse also voiced concerns that utilizing the special alcohol funds would not be compliant with the statute outlining how these funds must be spent.


Pawnee Mental Health Services CEO Robbin Cole echoed similar sentiments, citing their own findings throughout the years.

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Butler said the special alcohol funds have been used previously for the program, so it seems logical they could be used once again.

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Cole then explained that the special alcohol funds were utilized due to the circumstances of the program’s early years of operation.

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Ultimately, the proposal did not garner support from the board’s majority. Hatesohl suggested continuing to work out the plan’s details and then bring it back to the board during next year’s budget discussions.